Caravan site being bought to help protect the environment

A CARAVAN site is being bought by the Peak District National Park Authority to help prevent harm to the landscape.

Villagers in Foolow asked the authority to act after Tingdene Parks announced their intention to put static ‘park home’ style caravans on Brosterfield Caravan Site.

When planning permission for the site was first approved in 1998 the intention had been for the site to only be used by touring caravans.

But the company won a planning appeal in August 2011 which found that the wording of the original planning permission decision notice did not stop static caravans from being placed on the site as was originally intended.

After hearing the concerns of local people about the greater visual impact of permanent caravans on the landscape the authority agreed to buy the site on the edge of Foolow - which includes two fields - for £650,000.

Once the sale is finalised the Peak District National Park Authority will remove the right to put static caravans on site, using what is known as a Discontinuance Order.

It will then put the site up for sale with a planning permission for it to be used solely as a touring caravan site.

Tony Favell, chair of the Peak District National Park Authority, said: “We shared the concerns of local people that the planned move to change the caravan site from one for touring caravans to a site housing static park style homes would have had a huge impact on the landscape dominating views of the area over some distance.

“We always maintained the site only had permission for touring caravans but when the Planning Inspector disagreed with that interpretation of the planning permission we needed to act to protect the site.

“I want residents and visitors to the area to know that this move ensures that park homes or other static caravans will not be allowed on the site. The price was agreed using advice from the District Valuer and we will seek to recoup as much of that back as possible from selling the site on as a touring caravan site.”

The authority will consider whether to make a further planning application to put additional facilities on the site, such as a small toilet block.

Chris Taylor, chair of Foolow Parish Meeting, said: “I would wish to congratulate the Peak District National Park Authority for bringing this case to a satisfactory conclusion and also for their close cooperation throughout all the proceedings.”

The Peak District National Park Authority had lodged an appeal in the High Court against the Planning Inspector’s decision to allow static caravans on the site. This legal action will be withdrawn once the sale has been completed.